Here at Gage we understand the importance of communication within your business. Great communication can increase productivity, create a healthy culture and increase accountability, while poor communication can have the opposite effect. Here are a few tips every small business leader can implement to create a strong foundation for communication in their organization.
Document Processes & Protocols.
The first tip is to have established and documented methods for all of your key business operations. These documents should outline the tactics to be used, the objective, and how to evaluate effectiveness. Having your methods documented creates a company-wide standard that helps keep everyone accountable and in sync. Your documentation should be available to anyone within the company, so every employee can easily access things like protocol, workflows, training, and more. In small businesses, this important step is often overlooked, as leadership assumes they are small enough to implement these things without documentation. The truth is, no matter how small you are, you can always benefit from defining your processes. It ensures that everyone knows what’s expected and improves efficiency and accountability company-wide.
Use Technology to Your Advantage.
With the advancements in communication technology that have been made, today more than ever it is easier to stay connected and have effective communications. There are a number of tools and methods that can be used to keep everyone in touch and informed. Task Managers are great for communicating responsibilities among different roles and seeing projects go from beginning to end smoothly. Similarly, CRMs help your sales team manage their pipeline and communications in one place. Unified communication tools help you stay connected, any time, any place. Video conferencing allows you to have meetings remotely with your team or clients wherever they are. Tools like instant messaging help your team constantly stay in contact, even when they’re not in the office. And cloud-based business VoIP solutions can make sure you never miss a call – following you from your desk phone to your cell phone when necessary.
Plan Effective Meetings.
Meetings are one of the single biggest pain points in any organization, large or small, and often one of the biggest time wasters. Small companies often fall prey to this when they don’t define a structure for their meetings, don’t stick to internal meeting times, or let meetings go off on a social hour tangent. Make sure your meetings have a purpose – define who should take part, what you want to cover, and what you want to accomplish from each meeting. It’s a good idea to have an agenda and a moderator to keep your discussion points on track, take notes, and conduct the meeting in a timely manner. Everyone should have a key takeaway from the meeting and know what their next action item should be. Again, you can utilize technology to manage meetings – sync team schedules with shared calendars, set conference calls, and more.
Be an Active Listener & Be Responsive.
Possibly one of the most important tips is to practice active listening and always be responsive. The 3 key objectives of active listening are to listen to obtain information, listen to learn, and listen to understand. Implementing these three can increase the efficiency of your communications. When you practice active listening, you are able to pay attention, ask the right questions, and provide clear feedback and direction, increasing the productivity of the entire team. That leads to being responsive. Implement a standard response time in-house as well as with clients, whether you have all the answers or not. At the end of the day, employees and clients alike just want to be heard. It’s important that they know that you’ve listened to them and have internalized what they shared, and that’s truly the cornerstone of effective communication.
At Gage, we have a solution that can help meet all of your communication needs in one platform. Gage Cloud Voice is truly the last phone system you’ll ever need. But Gage Cloud Voice is more than just a phone system – it’s a cloud based, carrier-class complete VoIP communications solution that gives business the ability to be accessible anytime, anywhere, on any device. Gage Cloud Voice will link everyone in your company, allowing you to communicate more efficiently and effectively, with powerful features like unified messaging, time-of-day routing, and video collaboration. With no system to install, it’s easy to add seats or functionality on-demand. And, just like everything we do, you can count on expert installation, thorough training and local personal service. Read More about how we can meet all of your communication needs, or contact us today to schedule a consultation.